My Name is Number 4 by Ting-Xing Ye

August 8, 2008

My Name is Number 4 was a book I received from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program. It is a memoir about Ting-Xing Ye’s life during the Cultural Revolution in China.  She comes from a poor family and is the fourth of five children. Her mother and father die at a young age, and she is left with her Great-Aunt to raise her. Basically, she’s had it bad from the beginning.

This was an engaging read. After reading the novel, I really admire Ye for all the things she’s had to live through. Her father was a businessman which automatically makes her the victim of Red Guard attacks. Then, she is exiled to a prison camp in Beijing at the age of sixteen and ends up spending several years there. It is a well-written novel, and Ye is a likeable character.

The only thing I really didn’t like about the book was the title. Nitpicky, I know. It just felt mislead by it. It makes one think the novel will be about being born into a strict Chinese family.

I think young adults will enjoy the book especially if you’re like me and haven’t learned much about the Cultural Revolution in China. That’s what appealed me the most about this book. I mean everyone’s heard about the Holocaust, and it’s interesting to see a similar thing happen in another country, although not near as cruel (thankfully). I also think it’s smart to release this book so close to the Olympics. I’m watching the opening ceremony as I’m writing. It’s beautiful! Anyway, the paperback edition wil be out on September 2 which isn’t too much longer. 😉

I also wanted to say that my reviews may slow down a bit with school. I started back on August 1. I have Literature this semester, so I will post reviews of the novels I read in that class here. I have a choice between Their Eyes Were Watching God and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as my first novel.